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02 Oct 13. Rutland Partners is pleased to announce that on 1 October 2013 it exchanged contracts with General Motors for the acquisition of Millbrook Proving Ground Limited for an undisclosed amount with additional funds being made available for the development of new facilities. Millbrook is one of Europe’s leading test and engineering technology centres for the automotive, energy and defence markets. Established in 1969, Millbrook is strategically located at the heart of the UK automotive and fuels industries in Bedfordshire. The business owns a 665 acre site offering over 45 miles of on and off road test tracks with a variety of surfaces, features and terrains, as well as extensive test and validation facilities which complement the proving ground. The business is also a leading convertor of specialist vehicles. Against a backdrop of increasing emissions legislation and safety regulation, Millbrook has built a strong reputation for assisting blue chip customers, both GM and 3rd party (non GM), on their engineering and development programmes. The business has revenues of approximately £40m and has over 400 employees. Under Rutland’s ownership, Millbrook will be led by Miguel Fragoso, CEO. John Notman-Watt, who has 25 years’ experience in the testing, inspection & certification sector, will also be appointed Chairman on completion which is expected to take place in early December. GM will remain a key customer of the business post completion with both parties entering into a number of long term supply agreements. Millbrook has successfully developed third party relationships in recent years which account for the majority of Millbrook’s test and engineering revenues and will accelerate this growth in the future aided in part by the expansion of facilities and by help from Rutland to invest further in and expand its service proposition. Millbrook is the eleventh investment from Rutland Fund II (£322m) and follows a busy period for Rutland with its recent investments in Buy As You View, Pizza Hut UK Restaurants, AFI Group and Bernard Matthews. In addition, Rutland has exited four businesses over the last eighteen months: Attends Healthcare and Pulse Home Products from Rutland Fund II and NoteMachine and Advantage Healthcare from Rutland Fund I, returning over £200m to investors. The transaction was led on behalf of Rutland by Nick Morrill, David Wardrop and Rahul
15 Sep 13. British Army looks to bring Warthog into core. IHS Jane’s sources indicate that a business case is being made to take the
United Kingdom’s remaining Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) Warthog articulated armoured all-terrain vehicles into the core British Army equipment programme. In mid-2011 STK delivered the last of 115 Warthogs ordered by the British Army – to replace the BAE Systems Hagglunds Viking BvS 10 series all-terrain vehicles it had ‘borrowed’ from the Royal Marines – under a GBP150m (USD237m) Urgent Operational Requirement (UOR) contract placed in December 2008. Afghanistan took its toll on the vehicles, where the fleet clocked up over 500,000km and suffered an undisclosed number of losses or uneconomical damage, but the surviving platforms have now been returned to the United Kingdom and the first vehicles have been through a reset programme. (Source: Jane’s)
25 Sep 13. Emirati engineers will be assembling 26 anti-mine command vehicles to deliver accurate and long-range firepower. According to a contract between the UAE-based International Golden Group (IGG) and BAE Land Systems on December 2011, the Agrab RG31 armoured utility vehicles are to be produced by the UAE as early as next year.
“We have delivered a few fully assembled vehicles already but are doing this with our partner IGG as part of our partnership and the future development of the industry in the